Friday, August 1, 2008

Dimaension X – I am Become Daevel

As my esteemed partner the Pope once decreed, Myspace is a veritable treasure trove of music; rich veins of metal, rock, pop, punk just waiting to be discovered, uncovered, mined from the ore like an 1849 gold claim. There it is, lurking just beneath the surface, your newest favorite band, that sound you’ve been digging for. Today we want to bring to light a sampling of one such untapped mine, the vastly talented, prodigious work of the one man band, composer, arranger who goes by the mysterious moniker of Dimaension X.

Each one of his albums explores a different theme, both story-wise and stylistically. Bryson’s Universe comes at you all spaced out cosmic rock while Leprosia Doom, as the name suggests, is droning, haunting doom metal. But here’s the rub; the album we’re going to discuss, plus his entire catalog are available for free download on Dimaension X’s myspace page. Always being a fan of free (legal) music, I donned my miner’s cap, grabbed my trusty pickaxe, a safety rope or two, and dove in, emerging with a shining nugget to share.

Clearly our Dimaension boy’s most ambitious effort, I am Become Daevel is an awe-inspiring work of DIY symphonic doom metal. Sounding far more produced than anything has the right to after being recorded in the basement studio between diaper changes and "honey -do's," I am Become Daevel is the best place for the uninitiated to begin their exploration into the dark and demented place that is Dimaension’s mind. Alternating passages of sweeping majesty, downright beauty and pummeling heaviness with blow-your-face-apart riffs, this is everything symphonic doom metal is supposed to be, without being bombastic or pretentious. Add to this the fact, that it is the effort of a one-man band, written, composed and performed when not working the day job, and it makes the album that much more impressive. You just get the idea that this guy loves to write and loves to play.

Like all of Dimaension X’s albums, I am Become Daevel is an instrumental (he’s already given me permission to mention that he’s open to anyone writing lyrics and singing over his tracks. Just send him the demo.) Now, don’t let the thought of an instrumental metal album turn you off, this isn't rambling noodling a la any untold number of ego-guitar shredders. Dimaension fills his compositions with enough twists and turns, metallic riffs, jazzy solos, orchestral breaks, unexpected space rock fills, and piano breakdowns, to always keep this listener interested and wondering what will come next.

Starting with a long symphonic synth symphonic intro, "Opus Introductus" introduces the listener to the theme of this particular release. It’s a credit to Dimaension’s compositional skills that I spent many minutes wracking my brain trying to decide if he created the symphonic intro or adapted it from a lost Wagner classic. Then, after fusing effortlessly into the next track, “I Am Become Daevel,” the pace quickens, synthesized horns and percussion driving the tension deeper and faster, you know something's coming, then the surging drum and bass harken on the metal, launching into a doom metal riff worthy the God's Judas Priest themselves.

Dimaension plays with dynamics, mood and textures. Just listen to the classical interlude that starts "Viverra In," a beautiful piece of chamber composition that transitions on the back of a throbbing bassline and punishing riff into a jazz fusion freakout rampaging directly into the thrashing crunch of "Ullamcorper Non." Dimaension also reveals that he's not afraid to break the song down in the middle of a crunching riff for a jazz-inflected solo, a piano interlude, classical passage or, hearsay of hearsays, silence. All powerful silence. The delicate, full on jazz piano break of "Proin Nunc," is particularly noteworthy.

Crushing riffs interspersed with jazz fusion runs. Hints of Jeff Beck fused to Metallica creating a surrealistic Wagnerian epic. There’s no end to his muse. If there's any downside to work on, it's that some of the classical passages may go on a tad too long, and some of the compositions could benefit from a bit of editorial tightening, but that's really only in context of wanting to hear more of the powerful riffing. With time, Dimaension will strike the perfect balance. He's certainly got the talent and the drive.

While an entire album of instrumental doom metal may be too much for some listeners, the tracks are compelling enough that you could certainly pick and choose those which move you. And again, in case it failed to register the first time, they’re free. Check it out, you may be surprised. I am Become Daevel makes for an interesting, engaging, and satisfying listen. But bring your pick axe, miner's helmet, and oxygen tanks with you. Once you enter the mine of free music on his site, it may be a while before you come up for air again.


1 comment:

Dimaension X said...


I drop to my knees, Wayne's World-style and shout, "I'm Not Worthyyy!"

Sincerely though, I am touched and greatly appreciate your review. It means a lot to have someone else listen to my music, and actually seem to enjoy it.

And I appreciate the few criticisms - I do need to do a bit of self-editing and cut some of the fat. (Uh, my next project is actually more Classical - oh well.)

Many sincere thanX,
Dimaension X
(aka Dave Lanciani)

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